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Title: Resistance-Guided Mining of Bacterial Genotoxins Defines a Family of DNA Glycosylases
ABSTRACT Unique DNA repair enzymes that provide self-resistance against therapeutically important, genotoxic natural products have been discovered in bacterial biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs). Among these, the DNA glycosylase AlkZ is essential for azinomycin B production and belongs to the HTH_42 superfamily of uncharacterized proteins. Despite their widespread existence in antibiotic producers and pathogens, the roles of these proteins in production of other natural products are unknown. Here, we determine the evolutionary relationship and genomic distribution of all HTH_42 proteins from Streptomyces and use a resistance-based genome mining approach to identify homologs associated with known and uncharacterized BGCs. We find that AlkZ-like (AZL) proteins constitute one distinct HTH_42 subfamily and are highly enriched in BGCs and variable in sequence, suggesting each has evolved to protect against a specific secondary metabolite. As a validation of the approach, we show that the AZL protein, HedH4, associated with biosynthesis of the alkylating agent hedamycin, excises hedamycin-DNA adducts with exquisite specificity and provides resistance to the natural product in cells. We also identify a second, phylogenetically and functionally distinct subfamily whose proteins are never associated with BGCs, are highly conserved with respect to sequence and genomic neighborhood, and repair DNA lesions not associated with a more » particular natural product. This work delineates two related families of DNA repair enzymes—one specific for complex alkyl-DNA lesions and involved in self-resistance to antimicrobials and the other likely involved in protection against an array of genotoxins—and provides a framework for targeted discovery of new genotoxic compounds with therapeutic potential. IMPORTANCE Bacteria are rich sources of secondary metabolites that include DNA-damaging genotoxins with antitumor/antibiotic properties. Although Streptomyces produce a diverse number of therapeutic genotoxins, efforts toward targeted discovery of biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) producing DNA-damaging agents is lacking. Moreover, work on toxin-resistance genes has lagged behind our understanding of those involved in natural product synthesis. Here, we identified over 70 uncharacterized BGCs producing potentially novel genotoxins through resistance-based genome mining using the azinomycin B-resistance DNA glycosylase AlkZ. We validate our analysis by characterizing the enzymatic activity and cellular resistance of one AlkZ ortholog in the BGC of hedamycin, a potent DNA alkylating agent. Moreover, we uncover a second, phylogenetically distinct family of proteins related to Escherichia coli YcaQ, a DNA glycosylase capable of unhooking interstrand DNA cross-links, which differs from the AlkZ-like family in sequence, genomic location, proximity to BGCs, and substrate specificity. This work defines two families of DNA glycosylase for specialized repair of complex genotoxic natural products and generalized repair of a broad range of alkyl-DNA adducts and provides a framework for targeted discovery of new compounds with therapeutic potential. « less
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Simmons, Lyle A.; Bush, Karen
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National Science Foundation
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  1. Abstract

    Microbes produce a broad spectrum of antibiotic natural products, including many DNA-damaging genotoxins. Among the most potent of these are DNA alkylating agents in the spirocyclopropylcyclohexadienone (SCPCHD) family, which includes the duocarmycins, CC-1065, gilvusmycin, and yatakemycin. The yatakemycin biosynthesis cluster inStreptomycessp. TP-A0356 contains an AlkD-related DNA glycosylase, YtkR2, that serves as a self-resistance mechanism against yatakemycin toxicity. We previously reported that AlkD, which is not present in an SCPCHD producer, provides only limited resistance against yatakemycin. We now show that YtkR2 and C10R5, a previously uncharacterized homolog found in the CC-1065 biosynthetic gene cluster ofStreptomyces zelensis, confer far greater resistance against their respective SCPCHD natural products. We identify a structural basis for substrate specificity across gene clusters and show a correlation between in vivo resistance and in vitro enzymatic activity indicating that reduced product affinity—not enhanced substrate recognition—is the evolutionary outcome of selective pressure to provide self-resistance against yatakemycin and CC-1065.

  2. Abstract

    Two families of DNA glycosylases (YtkR2/AlkD, AlkZ/YcaQ) have been found to remove bulky and crosslinking DNA adducts produced by bacterial natural products. Whether DNA glycosylases eliminate other types of damage formed by structurally diverse antibiotics is unknown. Here, we identify four DNA glycosylases—TxnU2, TxnU4, LldU1 and LldU5—important for biosynthesis of the aromatic polyketide antibiotics trioxacarcin A (TXNA) and LL-D49194 (LLD), and show that the enzymes provide self-resistance to the producing strains by excising the intercalated guanine adducts of TXNA and LLD. These enzymes are highly specific for TXNA/LLD-DNA lesions and have no activity toward other, less stable alkylguanines as previously described for YtkR2/AlkD and AlkZ/YcaQ. Similarly, TXNA-DNA adducts are not excised by other alkylpurine DNA glycosylases. TxnU4 and LldU1 possess unique active site motifs that provide an explanation for their tight substrate specificity. Moreover, we show that abasic (AP) sites generated from TxnU4 excision of intercalated TXNA-DNA adducts are incised by AP endonuclease less efficiently than those formed by 7mG excision. This work characterizes a distinct class of DNA glycosylase acting on intercalated DNA adducts and furthers our understanding of specific DNA repair self-resistance activities within antibiotic producers of structurally diverse, highly functionalized DNA damaging agents.

  3. Streptomyces genomes harbor numerous, biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) encoding for drug-like compounds. While some of these BGCs readily yield expected products, many do not. Biosynthetic crypticity represents a significant hurdle to drug discovery, and the biological mechanisms that underpin it remain poorly understood. Polycyclic tetramate macrolactam (PTM) antibiotic production is widespread within the Streptomyces genus, and examples of active and cryptic PTM BGCs are known. To reveal further insights into the causes of biosynthetic crypticity, we employed a PTM-targeted comparative metabologenomics approach to analyze a panel of S. griseus clade strains that included both poor and robust PTM producers. By comparing the genomes and PTM production profiles of these strains, we systematically mapped the PTM promoter architecture within the group, revealed that these promoters are directly activated via the global regulator AdpA, and discovered that small promoter insertion–deletion lesions (indels) differentiate weaker PTM producers from stronger ones. We also revealed an unexpected link between robust PTM expression and griseorhodin pigment coproduction, with weaker S. griseus –clade PTM producers being unable to produce the latter compound. This study highlights promoter indels and biosynthetic interactions as important, genetically encoded factors that impact BGC outputs, providing mechanistic insights that will undoubtedly extend tomore »other Streptomyces BGCs. We highlight comparative metabologenomics as a powerful approach to expose genomic features that differentiate strong, antibiotic producers from weaker ones. This should prove useful for rational discovery efforts and is orthogonal to current engineering and molecular signaling approaches now standard in the field.« less
  4. The adenine, cytosine, and guanine bases of DNA are susceptible to alkylation by the aldehyde products of lipid peroxidation and by the metabolic byproducts of vinyl chloride pollutants. The resulting adducts spontaneously cyclize to form harmful etheno lesions. Cells employ a variety of DNA repair pathways to protect themselves from these pro-mutagenic modifications. Human alkyladenine DNA glycosylase (AAG) is thought to initiate base excision repair of both 1, N 6 -ethenoadenine (ϵA) and 1, N 2 -ethenoguanine (ϵG). However, it is not clear how AAG might accommodate ϵG in an active site that is complementary to ϵA. This prompted a thorough investigation of AAG-catalyzed excision of ϵG from several relevant contexts. Using single-turnover and multiple-turnover kinetic analyses, we found that ϵG in its natural ϵG·C context is very poorly recognized relative to ϵA·T. Bulged and mispaired ϵG contexts, which can form during DNA replication, were similarly poor substrates for AAG. Furthermore, AAG could not recognize an ϵG site in competition with excess undamaged DNA sites. Guided by previous structural studies, we hypothesized that Asn-169, a conserved residue in the AAG active-site pocket, contributes to discrimination against ϵG. Consistent with this model, the N169S variant of AAG was 7-fold more activemore »for excision of ϵG compared with the wildtype (WT) enzyme. Taken together, these findings suggest that ϵG is not a primary substrate of AAG, and that current models for etheno lesion repair in humans should be revised. We propose that other repair and tolerance mechanisms operate in the case of ϵG lesions.« less
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